Early Predictors of Suicidal Ideation in Young Adults

By Dugas, Erika; Low, Nancy C. P. et al. | Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, July 2012 | Go to article overview

Early Predictors of Suicidal Ideation in Young Adults


Dugas, Erika, Low, Nancy C. P., Rodriguez, Daniel, Burrows, Stephanie, Contreras, GisèIe, Chaiton, Michael, O'Loughlin, Jennifer, Canadian Journal of Psychiatry


Objective: To identify early predictors of suicidal ideation in young adults, and to determine when specific time-varying determinants become important in predicting later suicidal ideation.

Methods: Data were available for 877 participants in the Nicotine Dependence in Teens study, an ongoing prospective cohort of students aged 12 to 13 years at cohort inception in 1999. Time-invariant covariates included age, sex, mother's education, language, and selfesteem. Time-varying covariates included depression symptoms, family stress, other stress, alcohol use, cigarette use, and team sports. Independent predictors of past-year suicidal ideation at age 20 years were identified in 5 multivariable logistic regression analyses, one for each of grades 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11.

Results: Eight per cent of participants (mean age 20.4 years [SD 0.7]; 46% male) reported suicidal ideation in the past year. In grade 7, none of the potential predictor variables were statistically significantly associated with suicidal ideation. In grade 8, participation in sports teams in and (or) outside of school protected against suicidal ideation (OR 0.6; 95% Cl 0.4 to 0.8; P = 0.002). Depression symptoms in grades 9, 10, and 11 were independent predictors of suicidal ideation (OR 2.2; 95% Cl 1.5 to 3.2, OR 1.6; 95% Cl 1.0 to 2.5, and OR 1.9; 95% Cl 1.1 to 3.4, respectively). No other variables were statistically significant in the multivariate models.

Conclusion: Depression symptoms as early as in grade 9 predict suicidal ideation in early adulthood. It is possible that early detection and treatment of depression symptoms are warranted as part of suicide prevention programs.

Objectif : Identifier les prédicteurs précoces de l'idéation suicidaire chez les jeunes adultes, et déterminer le moment les déterminants spécifiques variant dans le temps deviennent importants pour prédire l'idéation suicidaire ultérieure.

Méthodes : Des données étaient disponibles pour 877 participants à l'étude NICO (Nicotine Dependence in Teens), une étude prospective menée auprès d'une cohorte d'élèves âgés de 12 et 13 ans au début de la cohorte, en 1999. Les covariables ne variant pas dans le temps comprenaient l'âge, le sexe, l'éducation de la mère, la langue, et l'estime de soi. Les covariables variant dans le temps étaient notamment les symptômes de dépression, le stress familial, d'autres stress, l'utilisation d'alcool, le tabagisme, et les sports d'équipe. Les prédicteurs indépendants de l'idéation suicidaire de l'année précédente à l'âge de 20 ans ont été identifiés dans des analyses de régression logistique de 5 multivariables, une pour chacune de la 7^sup e^, 8^sup e^, 9^sup e^, 10^sup e^, et 11^sup e^ année scolaire.

Résultats : Huit pour cent des participants (âge moyen 20,4 ans [ET 0,7]; 46 % masculins) ont déclaré une ideation suicidaire l'année précédente. En 7^sup e^ année, aucune des variables prédictrices potentielles n'était statistiquement associée significativement à l'idéation suicidaire. En 8^sup e^ année, la participation aux sports d'équipe dans le cadre et (ou) hors de Key Words: suicide, adolescence, depression, longitudinal

l'école protégeait contre l'idéation suicidaire (RC 0,6; IC à 95 % 0,4 à 0,8; P = 0,002). Les symptômes de dépression en 9^sup e^, 10^sup e^, et 11^sup e^ année étaient des prédicteurs indépendants de l'idéation suicidaire (RC 2,2; IC à 95 % 1,5 à 3,2; RC 1,6; IC à 95 % 1,0 à 2,5; et RC 1,9; IC à 95 % 1,1 à 3,4, respectivement. Aucune autre variable n'était statistiquement significative dans les modèles multivariés.

Conclusion : Les symptômes de dépression dès la 9^sup e^ année prédisent l'idéation suicidaire du jeune âge adulte. Il est possible que la détection et le traitement précoces des symptômes de dépression soient justifiés dans le cadre de programmes de prévention du suicide.

Suicide is a leading cause of death among youth in both developed and developing countries.

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